EPA plans to okay New Mexico’s haze plan, including San Juan partial shutdown

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing approval of a revision to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by New Mexico through the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) in March 2014.

New Mexico’s SIP revision addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the EPA’s rules that require states to submit periodic reports describing progress toward reasonable progress goals (RPGs) established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of the state’s existing regional haze SIP (RH SIP). Comments on this proposed approval must be received within 30 days after it is published in the Nov. 3 Federal Register.

The 2014 periodic report was made in the first implementation period toward RPGs for Class I areas in and outside the state that were affected by emissions from New Mexico’s sources. The SIP revision includes the state’s determination that the existing RH SIP requires no substantive revision to achieve the established regional haze visibility improvement and emissions reduction goals for 2018. The EPA is proposing to approve New Mexico’s progress report SIP on the basis that it satisfies requirements.

New Mexico identified one single stationary source in the progress report SIP, the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS), to be subject to best available retrofit technology (BART). The SJGS includes four coal-fired boilers. In the New Mexico 2013 RH SIP, New Mexico determined that the BART controls for boiler units 1 and 4 will have selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) air pollution control devices installed for visibility-impairing pollutant reduction. Consistent with the terms in the state’s then-pending SIP revision, the report assumed future installation of controls would occur fifteen months following approval of the revised RH SIP (but not earlier than Jan. 31, 2016).

Additionally, the remaining two boiler units, 2 and 3, would be retired by the end of 2017. New Mexico estimated that implementation of the BART controls at SJGS would result in NOX reduction of approximately 13,000 tons per year (tpy) (from 21,000 tpy to 8,011 tpy); SO2 reduction of 6,600 tpy (from 10,500 tpy to 3,843 tpy); and particulate matter (PM) reduction of 1,200 tpy (from 2,380 tpy to 1,184 tpy). These reductions represent a 35% reduction in the statewide emissions of NOX, SO2, and PM.

“The EPA finds that the progress report SIP adequately reviews the status of New Mexico’s BART source,” said the notice to be published in the Nov. 3 Federal Register. “It identifies the controls to be applied; outlines the compliance timeframe for those controls; and shows potential reduction in visibility-impairing pollutants with future BART implementation.”

The San Juan Generating Station is a four-unit coal facility with a net capacity of about 1,685 MW located in San Juan County, near Farmington, New Mexico. It is co-owned by several parties, including Public Service Co. of New Mexico and Tucson Electric Power.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.